MArch Architecture

Graduate Taught (level 9 nfq, credits 120)

The MArch programme equips students to deal with complex design problems in a challenging context. Through studio projects, academic writing and practical experiments, it develops professional capacities while placing equal emphasis on research and critical enquiry. Its faculty includes many leading figures in architectural practice as well as internationally-recognised researchers. The programme equips graduates to work in the field of Architecture anywhere across the world  in architectural practice and in other forms of creative practice as well as in the areas of policy, consultancy and academia.

  • MArch (Hons) is the only programme that is accredited by the professional institute in Ireland (RIAI), and by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and which also has Substantial Equivalency status with the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in the USA.
  • Strong emphasis on research and on critical, reflective practice.
  • Intensive small-group teaching from leading practitioners and academics.

Careers & Employability

The MArch qualification is RIAI (and European Union), and RIBA accredited and has Substantial Equivalency with the NAAB. It will equip graduates to work in architecture anywhere across the world, whether in major global centres or in particular regional contexts. This triple accreditation makes this Masters course unique and offers unrivalled opportunities to graduates. Graduates are involved in architectural practice and in other forms of professional creative practice, as well as in areas of policy and consultancy. Many graduates also go on to further postgraduate study, in UCD and elsewhere. Past students in the course’s connected programmes have gone on to become international or national experts in their selected fields.

Full Time option suitable for:

Domestic(EEA) applicants: Yes
International (Non EEA) applicants currently residing outside of the EEA Region. Yes

Who is the Master of Architecture for?

Applicants will usually have a Bachelors level Architecture Degree or another approved equivalent degree with a minimum of 6 semesters of architectural education

Advanced Entry To Year Two

Applicants who hold a UCD Bachelor of Architecture Degree or an approved equivalent Degree awarded from another institution can apply to enter Year Two of the MArch Degree Programme and successful candidates may apply for further module exemptions.  All applicants who gain entry to Year Two must complete a minimum of 30 credits.

This programme is aimed at students who wish to develop a career in architecture. It is a national and international professionally accredited academic programme that will equip graduates to work worldwide in architectural design and in creative and research practice.  We encourage and support students to be active, motivated and autonomous learners, who have a critical and reflective approach to architectural design, practice and research. 

This studio and lecture based programme, led by academics and practitioners at the forefront of the discipline, aims to provide an engaging, exciting and innovative learning environment that encourages students to develop their individual professional capacities while placing equal emphasis on research and critical enquiry.  We do this through design projects, academic writing, technological and constructional investigations and practical experiments, valuing innovation, investigation and original creative work underpinned by a due regard for rigor, depth and precision. Students are provided with a firm foundation in advanced methodologies and skills and develop a close familiarity with the broader disciplinary, regulatory and societal frameworks within which professionals must operate. 

The programme uses teaching, learning and assessment approaches such as individual and group design projects, live-projects, case students, scenario-based learning and written research and dissertations. Each has a focus on individual development and reflective learning, while developing effective group-work, written, verbal and visual communication and presentation skills

  • On successful completion of the programme students should be able to: Embed in their visual and written work evidence of their ability to use conceptual and critical thinking and know the appropriate use of both.
  • Use analogue and digital methods of visual communication, drawing, presentation, model making, and show judgment in utilising such methods appropriately in order to achieve their design intentions and ambitions
  • Communicate and present their design and research questions and the knowledge and rationale underpinning their conclusions at public fora to professional and non-professional audiences, clearly and unambiguously
  • Act competently and independently and have the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, formulate judgments with incomplete or limited information, and to reflect on wider professional issues.
  • Evidence an informed and independent view of the role of the architect and the value of architecture to society, communicate and articulate the potential of architecture with regard to quality of life, environmental performance and climate change, health and well-being, economy etc
  • Integrate their knowledge of specialized research methods in architecture into their work and be capable of using such methods with rigour, depth and precision to understand, evaluate, and analyse scenarios in architectural theory, design and assembly.
  • Embed in their own work their knowledge of the regulatory and building control policy framework that underpins and influences practice and, be aware of the impact of such frameworks on current and future practice.
  • Utilise a range of investigative and design skills, showing in their work their ability to use the appropriate skill at the appropriate stage and an ability to synthesise knowledge to achieve original and excellent design outcomes.
  • Articulate their knowledge of local and global architectural history and precedent and have explicit in their work the ability to use such knowledge to inform future design and research work.
  • Understand structural, environmental, envelope, services and life-saving systems to the extent that the student can clearly evidence their ability to synthesise these within a comprehensive building design programme.
  • Apply their knowledge and problem solving abilities to the design of an architectural project in response to functional brief and site conditions, including an understanding of social and physical contexts and show this in visual and written documents.

MArch Architecture (T273) Full Time
EU          Year 1 - € 7830
EU          Year 2 - € 7830 aa
nonEU    Year 1 - € 24800
nonEU    Year 2 - € 24200 aa

aaSecond Year Fee applies to Students in 2nd Year in 2019 and who were a 1st Year Student on the programme in 2018/19
***Fees are subject to change

Please note that UCD offers a number of graduate scholarships for full-time, self-funding international students, holding an offer of a place on a UCD graduate degree programme. For further information please see

The College of Engineering & Architecture also offer scholarships for non-EU students, for more information see:

MArch (Hons) is the only programme that is accredited by the professional institute in Ireland (RIAI), and by the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) and which also has Substantial Equivalency status with the National Architectural Accrediting Board (NAAB) in the USA.

  • Portfolio Submission is essential
  • A bachelors degree with a minimum upper second class honours (NFQ level 8) or international equivalence in a relevant programme.
  • Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate English language proficiency of IELTS 6.5 (no band less than 6.0 in each element), or equivalent

Graduate Profile

Chloe Loh

After completing my three year undergraduate in the UK I spent three years working for different architectural practices in London before deciding to do my masters. An important element distinguishing UCD from other universities is its research based approach to most modules. These modules allow students to investigate their own interests and develop them into written arguments or effective design proposals; students at UCD are thus encouraged to be self-directed. This is something that has allowed me to project my personal interests into every project and to develop my own style and design method – an important characteristic distinguishing UCD from many other schools. It is a great time to be part of the Irish architectural scene. I will be graduating into the professional world at a time where Ireland is very much at the forefront of the international stage. It is a small course quietly producing talented and careful architects, where staff are open to nurturing the ideas of students, both in and outside of the studio environment.

The following entry routes are available:

Master of Architecture (T273)
2 Years
Full Time
Rolling *

* Courses will remain open until such time as all places have been filled, therefore early application is advised